It’s Two,Two Barn Finds In One!


Fellow Woody Boater Andreas Reissmann sent us in this onece in a lifetime barn find, and the restoration that followed. This is the time of year when we need these sorts of stories. Hope you enjoy! Take it away Andreas!

I regularly scan a handful of web sites and classifieds for interesting items in the old car, bike and boat world. One day in August 2015, I found a local ad on Kijiji that said “1928 Chris Craft wooden boats – one 22’ Cadet triple, 75%restored, and one 26’ triple, unrestored grey hull with original Kermath OHV 6”. Both boats were priced the same. I emailed the owner and told him I’d like to look at the 26’ triple that week. Later that week, my boys and I head out to go to see the 1928 CC 26’ triple being stored in a 150 year old barn.
Wow…top, bottom and transom covered in fiberglass, windshield cut off and curved plastic version added at some point, outboard motor rigged onto transom, 50s bench car seats added, brass rudder extension grafted on for tighter turning …ugh… Yet, the hull shape was still there, and there was that big Kermath. We took some shots and the owner agreed to send me a video of the engine running. Heading back to the truck the owner asks if I want to see the 22 footer. Not really was my initial thought, but we went to go look anyways…

There is was, peeking out of the barn. Once we cut down some of the brush and undergrowth, and took all the tarps and covers off, a beautifully restored boat saw light for the first time in 15+ years. Had a 283 v8 in it, raw brass casting for trim.

So…a deal was struck on both boats, and soon after we were at the barn again pulling boats out. First one out was the 22’ Cadet…woodwork complete, just needing a few hardware pieces, upholstery, then re-assembly. Have since obtained a restored Chrysler 6 for it and have recently found a 3 gauge grape leaf instrument panel and gauges.

Fugly! Once we had air back in the tires, “the pirate” came out of its 15+ year storage with ease.

The 26’ triple went immediately to Wykes Boat Works to begin its transformation.
Pulled the motor/trans/shaft/prop/rudder and then executed the flip…

Post Fiberglas peel…there’s hope. Surprisingly, the wood under the Fiberglas was in relatively good shape. The initial assessment of a grey hull and replacing all planking, now turned to saving as much as possible.

Wykes were requested to do a phased approach…fix the bottom, then we’ll see how much money is left. Cutting out what’s bad, and replacing with new wood…

Straightening the mangled cut water, to use as a template for the new one.

Reconstructing the bottom. We found tin and copper patches, along with much salvageable 1928 wood.

Found some more money, so now stripping sides and transom.


Under all that Fiberglas and outboard rigging, the transom still had the original 2 large pieces of mahogany.

Final prep before bottom paint, and sides stained and varnished

Looking better than how I found her! Decision was made to continue restoration.


Next up…removing decking, stringer repairs and interior paint. Stringer beams ordered.

As of this past weekend, rebuilt top framing and new stringer received

The Kermath at home, awaiting cosmetic revive…

Will provide update, but hopefully ready by Christmas/New Years.

Woohoo Andreas, we look forward to the final look at your barn find! AND YOU ARE INVITED TOMORROW FOR THE 7TH ANNUAL VIRTUAL HOLIDAY PARTY.. WOOHOOO!

12 replies
  1. Capt. Cranky
    Capt. Cranky says:

    Best of luck on the restorations – and let that be a lesson –
    ALWAYS PEEK cuz ya never know! Hell, that’s how I ended up married!!!!

  2. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    If anyone feels the need, I still have the Chris-Craft 26′ and 28′ upswept projects.
    Another cheap shameless plug in the effort to clean my yard.😎

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    What a pair of boats.
    Love the “flip wheels”. Heck that could have been a story all in itself.

    Not sure as I want to hear the rest of Capt. Cranky’s story.

  4. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Interesting! I don’t see any signs of canvas between original inner and outer planking. That’s great you recycling some of the old bottom. She’ll need some swelling when you soak her. Nice project!

  5. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    so matt are you going to bring the ebay cobra to the party tomorow, before it goes to katzs?

    $45400, didnt someone call it would go for $45k?

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I have a flip wheel…made it…..never like flips that include losing contact with the ground….renewed contact can be devastating.

    Fantastic story about those two classics!

    John in Va.

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    also, If Chris Smith is bringing those five women on the header to the Christmas Party tomorrow you can count me out….yuk.

    John in Va

  8. Reddog
    Reddog says:

    It looks like ole Chris is handcuffed to the lady on his right. Why is the party on a tuesday? You know how bad the virtual hangovers can be.

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